I am constantly on the lookout for easy dinners that contain the best food for gut health. Our lives are very busy and if I didn't take some time to plan out our meals, we would be eating processed, take-out food that causes havoc on our gut health. Don't get me wrong, there are times we choose to have take-out food, but it is very infrequently. Nobody can follow any plan 100% of the time. We are human, not robots!
What makes a dinner easy? The ability to meal-prep, rely on frozen or canned veggies when fresh isn't available and ready in 30 minutes or less. Easy does not mean gut unhealthy. What makes a dinner support better gut health? Meals that are filled with veggies, herbs, gluten-free carbohydrates, sugar-free, healthy fats and mostly plant-based protein.
I love being plant-based. Being plant-based means I mostly eat vegetables and get protein from plant sources. But it doesn't mean I don't eat meat, chicken, pork or fish. It just means I limit those sources of protein. For me, I am able to enjoy plant-based eating usually Monday through Thursday. The weekends are best for me to eat meat or fish because our plans can change. I enjoy having the option on the weekend, knowing the weekdays will be plant-filled.
It is important to find what works for you since everyone is different. If you create a meal strategy that is focused on improving gut health and fits your lifestyle, you will be more likely to stick to it. Having trouble figuring out how to work on improving gut health through the food that you eat?
I am here to help!
I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist teaching others how to stop suffering with an unhealthy gut and get back to living. Do you suffer from bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, bloating, brain fog, skin rashes or abdominal pain? Then your gut is unhealthy.
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If we determine it’s not a fit, we’ll go our separate ways for now.
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The dinners below are gut friendly, and a mix of fast and meal-prep ideas to try.
Veggie Stir-Fry with The Best Stir Fry Sauce from Tastes Lovely.
Stir-fry's are the easiest dinners to make for gut health. Sauces can be made, like the recipe from Tastes Lovely, as gluten-free and/or vegan. Plus, you can buy sauces if you don't have time to make a sauce.
I always have frozen veggies ready for a stir fry. They are pre-cut, cook fast and adapt well to any sauce. If you need to add some chicken, go ahead. But let the veggies be the star of the recipe.
To meal-prep, chop any fresh veggies you may be using on the weekend and store them in the refrigerator. Cook your choice of rice or gluten-free noodles, on the weekend and store in the fridge. Add the rice or gluten-free noodles the last 2 to 3 minutes of cooking to heat them up.
Why is a veggie stir-fry gut friendly? Healthy fiber from the veggies and healthy herbs in the sauces, such as ginger, parsley and garlic.
Potatoes can get a bad rap. They are packed with nutrients and promote a healthy gut.
Resistant starch from potatoes is mostly converted into the short-chain fatty acid butyrate — the preferred food source for gut bacteria.
Studies have shown that butyrate can reduce inflammation in the colon, strengthen the colon’s defenses and reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Moreover, butyrate may aid patients with inflammatory bowel disorders, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and diverticulitis. (Source: Healthline)
This recipe is the perfect meal-prep recipe. Bake the potatoes and make the chickpea stew ahead of time. Then in 20 minutes, a healthy, gut friendly dinner is ready. Serve with a side salad to get even more healthy veggies into the meal.
Salmon has a lot of great gut health properties and this recipe only takes 15 minutes to cook. It is high in omega-3 which boosts the diversity of the microbiome to ward off diabetes, obesity and Crohn's disease. (Source: DailyMail) But make sure the salmon is wild not farm raised. The omega-3 fatty acids found in wild salmon can heal an inflamed gut and prevent future inflammation. (Source: Bustle)
Pair the salmon with broccoli to increase the amount of gut friendly ingredients. The sulfur-containing metabolites found in broccoli (and other cruciferous vegetables like kale, cauliflower, and cabbage) reduce inflammation in your gut. (Source: Bustle)
Zucchini is my favorite vegetable. It cooks fast and is full of gut health nutrients. It's rich in water, which can soften stools making them easier to pass and reduces the chances of constipation.
Zucchini also contains insoluble fiber which adds bulk to stools and helps food move through your gut more easily.
Plus, zucchini is full of soluble fiber, to help feed the beneficial bacteria living in your gut. Zucchini may help reduce inflammation and symptoms of certain gut disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. (Source: Healthline)
This casserole is a great meal-prep candidate because it is very versatile. Serve it for a meatless Monday meal, over brown rice or as a side dish with broiled chicken.
This recipe is full of flavor and gut healthy herbs. Parsley is the king of this recipe, using 1 big bunch. Parsley, can help aid in digestion and help reduce bloating. It contains compounds that enable the expulsion of gas from the body. Add some flat leaf parsley into your dinner before a big night out. (Source: The Healthy)
The most time consuming part of the recipe is to create the herb paste. Create it ahead of time to make this dinner in under 30 minutes. Use gluten-free noodles if gluten irritates your gut.
I hope you enjoyed learning about ingredients that help support a healthy gut. Dinner can be delicious, fast and gut friendly. Do you think you will make any of the above? Let me know in the comments below.